tion; and it was, perhaps, expecting too much, that they
should voluntarily abandon the <* vantage ground" which
they were thus occupying. However this may be, the Bap-
tist missionaries declined the proposal; and the name of
" the Christian Institution" was in consequence but par-
tially assumed. The other branches of which it was intend-
ed to be composed, including, besides those already named,
one of the most distinguished oriental scholars of the present
a^e, the late learned and lamented Dr. Leyden, who un-
dertook the translation of the Scriptures into the several
dialects of the Malayan Archipelago, were generally asso-
ciated after Dr. Buchanan's departure from India, under
the superintendence of the late Rev. Mr. Brown.
The " Christian Institution" was, however, carried but
very imperfectly into execution. On the arrival of the manu-
script in England, though it was printed in pursuance of
Dr. Buchanan's instructions, some of his friends, to whom
the work was communicated, conceived that its publication
was inexpedient, and might even produce consequences in-
jurious to tiie general cause of Christianity in India. Un-
der these impressions, they took upon themselves to suppress
the publication of the work, more especially as Dr. Bu-
chanan had announced his intention of returning; to this coun- '
try in the course of the following year. Their determina-
tion was, doubtless, guided by a sincere desire to promote
the great object of his labours ; and it will be seen that he
acquiesced in their judgment.
AVith respect to the main design of the Christian Institu-
tion, as a college of acknowledged responsibility, embracing
the associated learning and piety of the East for the grand
purpose of sacred translation, and possessing commanding
patronage, effective support, and enlarged superintendance
and control, the failure of its establishment can scarcely be
considered but as a subject of regret. The munificent do-
nations of the British and Foreign Bible Society to its cor-
responding Committee in Bengal, combined witli the exer-
tions of its eastern auxiliary branches, and those of other
societies, have undoubtedly promoted, to a very splendid
extent, the work of oriental translation. It is, however,
well known, that various circumstances, inseparable from
private and unconnected labours, have hitherto impeded its
more complete and successful execution ; nor is it probable
that these will ever be removed, but by recurring to the
general plan so ably and comprehensively conceived and
developed by Dr. Buchanan in his ** Christian Institu-
Of the fate of this elaborate plan in England, its author
was necessarily ignorant. He continued, therefore, to men-
tion it, amongst other topics, in his succeeding letters to his
friends, as if in the course of execution.
On the 9th of June, Dr. Buchanan thus wrote to Colonel
*» My dear Sir,
•• 1 yesterday received your letter of the 10th of May, en-
•* closing the regulation against spiritual encroachments.
•• It is admirably done, and the Bishop of Verapoli is saved.
•• Your continuance in Travancore is important, if it refer-
•» red to nothing else than the ecclesiastical concerns of the
DR. BUCHANAN. 357
" I am happy you stay a little longer on the coast. 1
<^ shall hope to see you in November or December. All
" and every thing you have sent tVom the archives of Vera-
•« poll is interesting and important. Your account of the
•« translation of the Scriptures gives me and others here
»< much pleasure. That work will prosper,
" The Turk impedes my plan of route. I now propose
•• to go through Armenia. I have ever been very desirous
•• to visit the Armenian churches. But I have not determi-
*' ned what I shall do ; for we may expect many a revolu-
" tion before January next.
" The Tinavelly impostor is one of many wiio are lifting
•^ up their voices in the desert. This is an age for, * Lo
" here, and lo there.' There is a luxation in all the joints
«^ of the Brahminical superstition, and the Wahabian philo-
<^ sophy is eating out Mohamedanism, as doth a canker.
*'The copper-plates are arrived at the custom-house here.
" I shall have them to-day. I am greatly obliged to you
♦^ for this rapid transmission of them.
<' I thank Mr. Clephane for his friendly proposal as to
'< the types. I shall confer with Mr. Kolhoff on that subject.
*< A fount must be cut ; that is certain. And from this
*« fountain will flow a clear and living stream for the souls
•* of men. I have despatched to the Archbishop of Canter-
" bury, by the Indus, a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel in
« Chinese, and two of the Gospels in Shanscrit.
** I shall be obliged to your writer to inform Timapah
*f Pulle, (who is now employed in translation at Candenad,)
« that I have received his letter ; that I am pleased with
*• his services ; that if Colonel Macaulay deems it reasona-
<'ble to add the Burdella Brahmin lie speaks of to the list of
" translators, I shall approve of it ; tliat I am happy he
<' (T. Pulle) begins to conside*' the Christian religion the
" true faith ; and that I will stand his godfather, agreeably
•* to his request, if he should prove worthy ; that I shall be
»* glad to hear £rom him again, and that he may write to
" me in Malayalim, as I have an interpreter in Calcutta :
" and that the young man, his relation, who lives with him
358 MEMOIRS OF
«• at Candcnad, may receive from Colonel Macaulay six ru-
<« pees per month, and arrears from the time of his own ap-
<* pointment, if he can shew that the lad is useful to him in
•* his work.
" I remain
" My dear Sir,
^' Very sincerely yours,
<j C. Buchanan."
In the course of the ensuing month. Lord Minto, who had
long been expected, arrived as Governor General in Bengal.
In a letter to Colonel Macaulay, on the 17th of August, Dr.
Buchanan notices his Lordship's good example, and attend-
ance on divine worship, and his attention to himself. *< He
<< wishes me,'' he adds, <* to communicate fully with him on
« all the subjects which he knows have long engaged my at-
<<tcntion." A subsequent paragraph in this letter thus men-
tions another very meritorious ecclesiastical servant of the
Company in India.
« I have not seen the publication of Dr. Kerr, to which
« you allude." This was probably the account of the St.
Thome Christians, the Syro-Romish, and the Latin church
in India, which was drawn up by that excellent man by or-
der of the Madras government.*
"But," continues Dr. Buchanan, "I received from him
*< yesterday his * Letter to Lord William Bentinck,' on the
<< subject of chaplains, printed and sent home by the Indus.
'< Dr. Kerr is an ardent and useful friend of the Christian
« religion ; and I think the Court w ill make him one of
<« his proposed vicars-general, or perhaps his suffragan
It appears, therefore, that the necessity of an enlarged
ecclesiastical establishment in India had occurred simulta-
neously to Dr. Buchanan and to Dr. Kerr. The latter zeal-
ous and laborious chaplain, however, did not survive long
onough to receive any additional authority, even supposing
a Sec the Christian Observer, vol. vi. p. 751, and Christian Researches, p. 146, .
DR. BUCHANAN. 359
that it would have been conferred upon him.^ His honour
and his reward are in heaven.
Dr. Buchanan's next letter to Colonel Macaulay is dated
September 15th, and contains some interesting notices res-
pecting his intended journey overland to Europe, and the
progress of the Malayalim translation of the Scriptures. It
refers, however, at the close, to a painful subject, which is
afterwards more fully explained.
" My dear Sir,
^^ I had the pleasure to receive the copies of your corres-
'^ pondence with government regarding the discipline of the
^< churches. Every additional letter you write on that sub-
*< ject is an additional pin to the tabernacle.
<* If I should go by Persia, I am prepared to spend twelve
'i thousand rupees in presents. But I hope to be able to
'^ travel by the route of Bussorah, Mosul, and Aleppo. I
« proceed to Bombay in the Metcalfe, Captain Isaacke,
•< who will sail from this place about the 10th or 15th of the
« next month, October. If practicable, he will set me down
<« at Cochin. If not, I shall first arrange matters at Bom-
" bay, and then come down to Goa (which I wish much to
<« visit) and to Cochin.
<« I am greatly obliged to you for your letter of the 2d of
" August, containing Colonel Capper's sentiments on a jour-
« ney through Persia and Armenia. His remarks are highly
« interesting, and may be useful to me hereafter. I am
«' more afraid of the French than of the Persians.
" I am happy at the arrival of the Pontifical Bull. A
*< Protestant Christian happy at the arrival of the Pope's
<< Bull ! Tell it not to the Church of England or to the Kirk
" of Scotland. Yea, I am happy, even though the object of
" it be a rosy bishop, who delights to quaff the essence of
<« sura ; for I hope through the medium of this bishop to
" diffuse the holy Scriptures among thousands of my fellow-
a For an account of this truly pions man, see %ha Christian Obsei-ver, vol. xi. p. 80.
i^Q MEMOIRS OF
** AVitliin the last few days arrived your eight packets of
*' the holy Gospels, translated into the Malayalim language.
*< They have been contemplated with mingled affection and
*« admiration by the missionary corps. David Grant is now
« employed in reading them through, and prefixing the titles
*'to the books, and numbering the chapters in English.
'< People wonder here at this rapid fruit of my visit to Ma-
" layala. But yours is the praise, not mine.
" As we have no fount of Malayalim types ready cut in
<• Bengal, I mean to take the MS. with me to Bombay, and
** to have it printed there under the superintendance of Sir
•« James Mackintosh.
« The translators may take their rest now for a little
" while. Until we can ascertain the accuracy of the trans-
" lation of the Gospels, we need not proceed to the Epistles.
*' You may therefore settle accounts with the translators.
" I request you will thank them in my name for what has
<* been done, and inform them, that I expect they will shortly
*< resume their operations.
^' I beg you will remember me to Dr. Macaulay, and to
" Mr. Hughes, the philosopher of the mountains. I fear he
•* cannot tell me yet the mode in which a rock snake is
•* killed by the hunters.
" I am on the eve, I fear, of a rupture with this govern-
•< ment. The cause is the Gospel. They are endeavouring
•< to restrain the exertions of the missionaries in Bengal. I
« have not yet interfered. And I trust it will not be neces-
<< sary ; for I love peace, and not war; particularly at the
« moment of my leaving the country. But I shall do my
^< duty, and leave the event to God.
<i 1 am,
** My dear Sir,
" Yours sincerely,
^' C. Buchanan."
On the 22d of September, Dr. Buchanan wrote to his two
daughters. The following passage from his letter alludes
to their lamented mother in a peculiarly affecting manner.
DR. BUCHANAN. 36I
*< I am now about to quit India, and to go home to see
** you. I propose to leave Calcutta in tlie course of next
** month. If I find it dangerous to go home overland, I
" shall proceed from Bombay by sea. I shall probably sail
" over those waters vvliere your dear motlier lies. Do you
" not know, that at the resurrection of the dead she will
" come forth with a ^ glorious body ?' Though it be < sown
" in dishonour, it is raised in glory.' Of this you may read
*' in the Bible, and in the Burial Service. Your mother
** will come forth with a * glorious body ;' for she was a good
*' woman, and remembered her Creator in tke days of lier
<« youth. Perhaps I shall die too before I reach England.
<^ You ought thereforie to pray that God would preserve my
^<life, if it be his will, (for I desire to do his will in all
" things,) that I may see you, and shew you the affection
« of a father, and receive the affection of daughters, and
<* lead you onward with myself to that happy state, whither.
" your mother is gone before you."
It is gratifying to reflect, that this affectionate and pious
father was permitted to realize the delightful prospect which
he thus anticipated. The following extract is from a letter
to Colonel Macaulay, which occurs shortly afterwards.
"Calcutta, 12th Oct. 1807.
«^ Your letters of the 13th and 15th ult. arrived on this
*' day. I have perused with pleasure and pain your public
"letter on the subject of expenditure at your residency;
" with pain, that your resources have been so scanty, and
" your fortune little ; with pleasure, that you have upheld
" your character with such dignity, and have repelled the
^« insinuations of ignorance with such temperance and effect.
<< The highest compliment I can pay you, (and 1 seldom pay
*i compliments,) is to say, < That every word in your letter
<« will be believed by the Honourable Court.'
<* The attack I announced to you in my last has not been
" yet made. I wish you were at my side during the storm.
•'« I have friends, but they are not soldiers. I am the forlorn
363 xMEMOIRS OF
*• h()j)e, ami yet I have not twelve men. Nay more, my
" friends toll me I shall certainly be killed.
*' The assault however must be made, but whether by si-
»< lent escalade at the midniglit watch, or by heavy and hot
<• battery at noon-day, I have not yet determined. I think
*< the latter. You shall hear in a letter dated on or about
•< the 1st of November, mt vivente, et Deo voltnUJ'''
The rupture with the supreme government, to which Dr.
Buchanan refers in the preceding letters, was of so serious
and unpleasant a nature, and is so closely connected with the
illustration of his character, that it demands some farther
Not long after his return from the coast of Malabar, Dr.
Buchanan preached a series of discourses in the Presidency
church on the subject of the Christian prophecies, which
proved so acceptable to some of the congregation, that they
expressed a wish that he would permit them to be printed ;
observing, that as he was about to return to Europe, they
hoped he would bequeath tiiese discourses, as a parting
memorial to his friends. To this request Dr. Buchanan
acceded, and accordingly made preparations for their pub-
lication. These sermons related chiefly to the Divine pre-
dictions concerning the future universal propagation of the
Gospel ; and were intended to excite the public attention
to that important subject, as wel? as to animate and encou-
rage those who from the purest motives were labouring to
promote the knowledge of Christianity in India. Nothing
could be more legitimate or laudable than such a design,
conducted as it was by Dr. Buchanan, not in the spirit of
violence and fanaticism, but of calm discussion, and reason-
able and benevolent exertion. On transmitting, however,
an advertisement to the government gazette, announcing the
intended publication of his discourses, Dr. Buchanan was
surprised to find, that the insertion of it was refused ; and
that an order had been issued to the printers of the other
newspapers, forbidding them to publisli the obnoxious notice.
Shortly afterwards he received a letter from the Chief Sec-
DR. BUCHANAN. 368
retary to the Presidency, desiring, that lie would transmit
the manuscript of his sermons on the Prophecies for the in-
spection of government. To this unexpected demand, Dr.
Buchanan gave no immediate answer. It had long been
the subject of painful observation to him, that on the depar-
ture of the Marquis Wcllesley, during whose administra-
tion the spirit of promoting learning and religion in India
liad been general and ardent, a directly contrary disposition
was manifested ; as if it had been previously restrained by
his presence. This first appeared under the administra-
tion of Sir George Barlow, and had been acquiring strength
ever siiice. Lord Minto had now assumed the supreme
government ; and as several measures were adopted which
appeared to Dr. Buchanan to operate very unfavourably for
the interests both of learning and religion, he deemed it his
duty, before he quitted Bengal, to address a memorial to his
Lordship, in wliich he particularly directed his attention to
the character and tendency of those measures ; and, in so
doing, explained his reasons for declining to comply with
the wishes of government respecting his sermons on the
Prophecies. The memorial was introduced to Lord Minto
by the following letter.
<^ To the Right Honourable Lord Minto, c^c, <^x, S^c,
*« My Lord,
" I beg leave respectfully to submit to your Lordship some
*^ particulars regarding the present state of the Christian
" religion in Bengal, which I have thought it my duty to
*< communicate for your Lordship's information at this time.
«I trust you will do me the justice to believe, that it is
« with the utmost reluctance I trouble your Lordship with a
•' letter on such a subject so soon after your entrance on this
^< government, when as yet few, if any, of the circumstan-
<< ces noticed in it can have come to your Lordship's know-
<« I have no other view in soliciting your attention to them,
•< but the advancement of learning and religion. Perhaps
" no one has addressed your Lordship on the subject since
3(54 MEMOIRS OF
•^ your arrival ; and there are certainly many particulars,
** regarding their present state, which it is of importance
'^ your Lordship should know.
'< Being about to leave India, I feared lest I should here-
•« after reproach myself, if I withheld any thing at this time
•* which I conceived might be useful, particularly as I have
•< been further encouraged to address your Lordship, by your
<^ known condescension in receiving any communications
<* which are honestly intended.
<* I have the honour to be,
« My Lord,
" With much respect,
" Your most obedient,
'< Humble Servant,
" C. Buchanan."
"Calcutta, 9tli Nov. 1807."
The memoi'ial, which accompanied the preceding letter,
and which was published some years afterwards* by Dr.
Buchanan, in his own vindication and defence, evinces, as it
has been well observed, " the temperate firmness of a man,
♦« who knowing that the Gospel is the power of God unto
" salvation, is neither ashamed to profess, nor afraid to de-
^^ fend it." It is introduced by a statement of the circum-
stances which have been just mentioned, as having led to
this address to the Governor General. Dr. Buchanan gave
full credit to the officers of his Lordship's government, of
whose conduct respecting the Christian religion he com-
plained, that they were acting according to the best of their
judgment; but adds, with much force and propriety of ex-
pression, *« not to promote Christianity may, in certain cir-
« cumstances, be prudent ; but to repress Christianity, will
« not, I think, in any case, be defended." In proof of such
a spirit of iiostility to the progress of the Gospel in India,
which is the main subject of his Memorial, Dr. Buchanan
specified the four following facts. ^* First, the withdrawing
'' of the patronage of government from the translation of the
a See his Apology for promoting Christianity in India.
DR. BUCHANAN. 365
" Holy Scriptures into the oriental tongues." <* Second, at-
<' tempting to suppress the translation of the Scriptures.'*
«« Third, suppressing the encomium of the Honourable the
<< Court of Directors on the venerable missionary, the Rev.
*< Mr. Swartz :" and, ** Fourth, restraining the Protestant
" missionaries in Bengal from the exercise of their functions,
<^ and establishing an imprimatur for theological works.'*
The truth of the two first of the preceding allegations has
been already proved by the course of these Memoirs, and
needs therefore no additional confirmation. The third rests
upon the simple fact, that the Bengal government, instead of
following the example of those of Madras and Bombay, in
giving publicity to the honourable testimony which had been
recently borne by the Court of Directors to the merits of
the venerable Swartz, in sending out to Fort St. George a
marble monument to his memory, with a suitable inscrip-
tion, which was ordered to be translated into the languages
of the country, had chosen to pass over the whole transaction
in silence ; and had aggravated this neglect, by permitting
the insertion of an article in the Calcutta gazette, " the ob-
<« vious tendency of which was to bring the character and
*< labours of the Christian missionary into contempt."
On the fourth head of the complaint preferred by Dr. Bu-
chanan in his Memorial, it will be necessary to be somewhat
more particular. The success of the protestant mission in
Bengal, Dr. Buchanan affirmed to have been long a source
of uneasiness to those officers of government who did not
think it right to attempt the conversion of the natives. And
some of the native moonshees, attached to the public offices,
knowing the sentiments of their superiors, were not back-
ward in seizing any occasion to complain of the missiona-
ries, which might be presented to them. Some clamour of
this kind had been raised at two different times within a few
years, but had passed away without offence to the Christian
religion. The complaint of the moonshees against the mis-
sionaries on the latter occasion was, that they had in a cer-
tain tract " applied abusive epithets to Mahomet." This
tract, being an account of the life of Mahomet composed by
366 MEMOIRS OF
a native convert, had issued from the missionary press at
Serampore, but without the knowledge of the missionaries
In commenting on this charge. Dr. Buchanan observed,
•< the missionaries certainly mistake the proper method of
•< convincing the minds of men, if they use epithets of
•< abuse ; the successful method of preaching is by argument
" and affectionate address ; and I presume this has been
*< their general method during the fourteen years of their
" At the same time. Christian teachers are not to speak
" with reverence or courtesy of J^uggernaut or Mahomet :
<< they must speak as the Scriptures speak ; that is, of false
<« gods as false gods, and of a lying prophet as a lying pro-
'< phet. The Mahometans apply abusive epithets and vul-
*< gar curses to the idolatry of the Hindoos, and to the
" faith of Christians ; and these epithets are contained in
« books ; the government might, on the same principle, have
<^ been assailed with the petitions of Christians and Hindoos
<^ against the Mahometans."
The complaint, however, of the Mohamedans produced
various restrictions on the proceedings of the missionaries,
which were defended on the plea that the public faith had
been pledged to leave the natives in the undisturbed exer-
cise of their religions. If by not disturbing the natives in
the exercise of their religion, it is meant that we are to use
no means for diffusing Christianity among them ; then, ob-
served Dr. Buchanan, <*this pledge has been violated by
** every government in India, and has been systematically
»< broken by the East India Company, from the year 1698
« to the present time. The charter of 1698 expressly sti-
»* pulates that they shall use means to instruct the Gentoos,
<< &c. in the Christian religion. Nor in this is there any
** thing at variance with the pledge in question. It is a very
« different thing to apply arguments to the mind^ and vio-
<« lence to the body ; to civilize and humanize, to address
*< the understandings and affections of subjects, and to inter-
« fere with their superstitions by compulsory acts."
DR. BUCHANAN. 367
After various illustrations of the countenance afforded by
the Company itself to Christian missionaries, and ,of their
successful efforts in different parts of India, Dr. Buclianan
adds the following observation.
*< It has been the usual conduct of Asiatic governments to
<^ let Christianity alone. In the annals of the British ad-
*^ ministration in India, has there been no instance of the
<< suppression of a Christian mission."